The South Sydney Rabbitohs could be left homeless for the 2023 season and beyond after the NSW Government refused to green light a permanent move to Moore Park.
Geographically closer to Rabbitohs heartland than Homebush, South Sydney had their hearts set on a move to the rebuilt Allianz Stadium from next season onwards, however just four weeks before 2023 memberships go on sale, the government are yet to give the Rabbitohs an answer.
ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet enjoyed a war of words last week as the pair clashed over the previously committed funds for stadium renovations in NSW, Perrottet slashing the $250 million allocated to suburban grounds completely.
South Sydney have been eager to move across town following the cancellation of a whopping $800 million renovation to Accor Stadium, and still yet to receiver an answer, Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly is frustrated over the stalling.
“We are extremely confused, frustrated and disappointed - we have bucket loads of uncertainty,” an agitated Solly told News Corp.
“We are pleading for a fair go. We just want to be treated fairly. The club has told the Government, NRL and Venues NSW we now want to play at Allianz. We’re struggling to understand why it’s so hard. Why this isn’t a quick decision? This needs to be approved as soon as possible."
Carrying one of the biggest fanbases in the NRL, Solly is worried that the delayed response from the government could cost the club precious memberships, as well as simultaneously costing the club potential sponsorships, the CEO wants a hasty decision on the venue change.
“We have memberships going on sale in four weeks’ time and we still don’t know where we’re playing next season. We also have sponsorship, tickets and hospitality to sell - everything that comes with a home stadium.
“We need to go on sale with these options. This will cost us financial and commercial opportunities.
“Given there is no investment in Accor Stadium, we want the best experience for our members, fans and corporate partners so we can’t see why the Government won’t approve or allow our move to Moore Park to go ahead. They haven’t said yes or no and that’s the problem.”
South Sydney affirmed their commitment to remain at Accor Stadium through to 2030 late last year, however the affirmation came prior to the NSW Government announcing that the 83,000 capacity ground wouldn't be receiving further renovations.
The club has been vocal for two-and-a-half-years now that despite their commitment to Homebush, any withdrawal of funds from its planned upgrade should allow the Rabbitohs to make the move.
The club will face the Roosters at the opening of the rebuilt Allianz Stadium in three weeks time, eager to not just avenge the last Allianz game pre-renovation, a 2018 Preliminary Final against the Chooks, but also inspect what could be their new home.